‘Twas on the Good Ship Venus 200

Submarines don’t have much rigging, which somewhat spoils the chorus, but I am delighted to hear that sailors on board Britain’s nuclear deterrent are heavily into sex and drugs. As the North Korean diplomatic standoff shows, nuclear weapons are utterly useless even within the context of the one situation in which they are supposed to be of use. Nobody has yet argued that the solution to nuclear proliferation is to start an atomic war, so what are the things for? The notion that Putin has a secret desire to send tanks rolling up the streets of Dumfries is obvious nonsense.

However, if we are going to wreck our economy by squandering US$250 billion on a redundant weapons system, it is good that at least some people are getting some fun out of it. Mind you, for $250 billion the entire nation could get high and shag like crazy for a very long time, which would be more equitable than confining the merriment to a couple of dozen people sitting on some big bombs. Michael Fallon is one of the few people in the world who would like to see nuclear weapons actually used. He is reportedly distressed that post-coital ennui or drug induced lack of coordination might reduce operational efficiency and delay the apocalypse. I sometimes suspect Fallon must have taken far too many drugs when he was young. Certainly large parts of his brain appear to have been altered to something way beyond the normal.

It is not only Major Tom who noticed there is nothing much else you can do whilst sitting in a tin can. The problem of drug-taking submariners is actually over a hundred years old. We can be fairly confident they have been shagging that long too: the new development being that they now have the choice of shagging members of the opposite sex (though I am amused to see that in the current scandal the distinction between officers and other ranks was properly observed when it came to penis insertion).

I was talking yesterday with a Tory journalist who was exultantly predicting that the emerging MP’s sexual abuse scandal would be much worse for the opposition than the Tories – purely on the grounds that “Tory girls” would be much less disposed to “make a fuss” about sexual advances from the MP’s they work for. I find that depressing on a great many levels, but have a nagging feeling it might prove true.

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200 thoughts on “‘Twas on the Good Ship Venus

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  • Ba'al Zevul

    As the North Korean diplomatic standoff shows, nuclear weapons are utterly useless even within the context of the one situation in which they are supposed to be of use.

    To which it will doubtless be suggested, that the reason it is a standoff, rather than the North (easily) overrunning the South, is not unconnected with nuclear deterrence. On learning today that the demented Trump is planning to respond to Russian rearmament by doing a bit of his own, I’d guess he prefers that explanation, as, obviously, does Dear Leader Kim.

    The notion that Putin has a secret desire to send tanks rolling up the streets of Dumfries is obvious nonsense.

    It is indeed. As far as I can see, it’s exclusively yours, too. Who the hell would want Dumfries? OTOH, he’s never been averse to a spot of border-straightening, and his brand of nationalism (that’s the good sort, right?) likes to have compliant states on the border, no less than NATO does.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile in Madrid.

    Spain’s Attorney General, has set bail for the main Catalan government players at €6,207,450 for each case.

    According to Catalan news there’s 20 “accused.”

    Yet, those who did not participate in the declaration of independence itself on Friday October 27 are not exempt, according to the Spanish Attorney General.

    Indeed, charges are being brought to the Catalan government ministers for their “decisions and acts in the last two years” which Maza qualifies as showing “total contempt” for the Spanish constitution.

    Typical why stop at Puigdemont, when you can tar them all with the same brush and clear everyone out. Spain is rekindling its love affair suth fascism again.

    • fred

      Very interesting the charges of misuse of public funds to promote separatism.

      Does anyone know if we have a similar law in Britain?

    • reel guid


      It does occur to me as a possibility that the EU allowed the Spanish government to make their moves in the knowledge that Rajoy and his crew would go way too far. Thus allowing the EU Commission and Parliament to pull the rug from under them. To say that Madrid has departed too far from EU standards of democracy (which they certainly have).

      That if the EU had set themselves openly against the Francoists’ policies earlier in the game, it would have caused too much squabbling among EU nations and among MEPs. Whereas they can now lay down the law to Madrid in the knowledge that Rajoy has alienated most of Europe.

      Only an idea. Could be very wrong.

      • Republicofscotland

        A interesting point reel guid, the EU has turned a virtual deaf ear to the pleas of the Catalan people, claiming that the matter is a internal one for Spain to settle.

        However with Puigdemont fleeing to Belgium, it has now become in my opinion, a matter that the EU can no longer ignore.

        It’s the clever thing to do, in my opinion, sitting in a Spanish prison, or curry favour and maybe asylum if need be in Belgium, and possibly the rest of the EU is a no brainer as they say.

        • MJ

          Puigdemont should flee to Scotland. He’d be sure to get a hero’s welcome and Scotland will soon be outside the scope of EU law, which will be a bonus.

          • Republicofscotland

            Scotland, as part of the UK, doesn’t really have any clout within the EU. No Puigdemont on going to Brussels has moved himself closer to the heart of the EU.

            Junkers and Co may find it a bit more problematic, having the Catalan president on their doorstep. They may now decide to get involved in the matter, here’s hoping they do.

        • Old Mark


          The EU certainly won’t be keen on a Flemish Nationalist Immigration minister, in the city where the EU thinks it rules the roost, adding to its headaches by promising asylum to any Catalan leader who seeks it- as Carles Puigdemont seems to be doing as I write this.

          Theo Franken is a member of the NVA- Flemish Nationalists and in effect a more moderate version of the Vlaams Belaang-


          • Republicofscotland

            “Theo Francken, told Flemish TV channel VTM on Saturday. “It is not unrealistic if you look at the situation” that the Catalan president could be granted asylum, he said. According to Francken, if that were the case, it would be difficult for Spain to extradite him.”

            “The migration minister made these remarks after the Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, avoided backing Spain after the Catalan independence declaration.”

            Maybe Francken was so bold on the matter, because the Belgian PM didn’t come right out and condemn Puigdemont or the declaration.

            Just a thought.


  • freddy

    Gaza: Palestinian militants killed as Israel hits tunnel
    It is understood most of those who died were members of Islamic Jihad. But the Hamas military wing said one of its members was killed in a rescue effort.
    The Israeli military said the “terror tunnel” was still under construction when it was “neutralised”.
    Israel is using sophisticated measures to thwart tunnels dug by militants.

    • freddy

      If you were a Palestinian, who fled Palestine to live in Syria.

      What did you do in the seven year war?

      • Sharp Ears

        That is an unpleasant slur on Palestinians.

        Any mention of the several wars that Israel has enacted on what remains of Palestine in the last two decades? No.

        • freddy

          Sharp Ears, it was not a slur.
          It was a question.
          If you were a Palestian, who had fled/left Palestine, to live in Syria.
          How would you have spent the next seven years, that have been the Syrian Civil War?

  • Republicofscotland

    The Spanish fascists bussed into Catalonia in there thousands gave Nazi salutes and yelled “Viva Franco.”


    The use of the salute is illegal in some countries. In Germany, Slovakia, and Austria, the gesture is deemed a criminal offence but in countries like Canada and France, it is viewed as hate speech if used for disseminating Nazi ideology.

    Fascism has no place in modern day society.

    • reel guid


      Have you seen UKIP’s new lion symbol? Very sinister looking and the opposite of their old innocuous pound sign.

  • freddy

    LONDON (Reuters) – A potential strike by hundreds of construction workers at EDF’s 18 billion-pound Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in southwest England has been averted after they accepted a revised pay deal, the GMB union said on Monday.

    18 billion is only the start of it.

  • fred

    Things unfolding on the Hillary emails front, this could turn into something big.

    Mr Papadopoulos’s indictment document reveals he learned from his connections that Russia claimed to have “dirt” on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” in a late April 2016 meeting. Damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta started emerging, through Wikileaks, just a few months later.


    • freddy

      There are some people in America, who are going to do anything they can, to bring down Donald Trump.
      I wonder if Hillary is one of those people.
      It looks like
      Kill or be Killed

      • fred

        It looks more like there were some people in Russia who did all they could to bring down Hillary.

      • freddy

        Russiagate – an elaborate work of bad fiction built on the shifting sand of fake news – claimed what may be its first political victims. And the punch line is that UKRAINE – not Russia – is the focal point of the indictment.
        Donald Trump, who, in a twist of tragic irony, just last week approved the release of archived documents related to the JFK assassination, is now suffering the sting of the first bullet, as it were, in the relentless Russiagate saga that seems determined to bring down his own presidency.

        This may lead on to prove that America was complicit in the overthrow of the UKRAINE President
        and more.

        • Bill Rollinson

          “This may lead on to prove that America was complicit in the overthrow of the UKRAINE President
          and more.”

          You mean Nuland / EU had nothing to do with it?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            This may lead on to prove that America was complicit in the overthrow of the UKRAINE President
            and more.

            For ‘may’ read ‘will’ if RT has anything to do with it. Though for ‘prove’ read ‘insidiously suggest across all Moscow outlets and social media’.

  • Loony

    …and so it transpires that the brave and fearless leader of Catalonia has abandoned both his “nation” and his people and fled to Belgium.

    What a sickening and disgusting example of “leadership” If you are going to lead your troops into battle and are prepared to accept the spoils of victory then you must also accept the cost of defeat and that means remaining with your people until the very end – whatever that end may be.

    Puidgemont cares nothing for the Catalan people and his actions prove this contention beyond all doubt.

    • reel guid

      Charles de Gaulle of France and King Haakon of Norway didn’t see it that way in 1940 and carried on the fight from outside their countries. They both remain national heroes.

      • fred

        Charles de Gaulle wasn’t remembered as a hero because he led a government in exile. He was remembered as a hero because he fought and was wounded several times in WWI and he led an armoured division against the German invaders in WWII.

        Charles De Gaulle is remembered as a hero because he was a hero, Puidgemont will remembered because he brought disaster on Catalonia then ran away to leave the people to suffer the consequences.

        • reel guid

          De Gaulle – hardly a man without faults – is revered still because he refused to submit to the Nazi domination of France and led the Free French. His combat record is not what makes him distinct among French soldiers. Its his wartime leadership and defiance.

          Without making a direct comparison between Puigdemont and De Gaulle, Puigdemont is simply defying Madrid. As indeed does every genuinely patriotic European.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        Whereas Petain and Gustav Mannerheim are seen,or overlooked, as collaborators or cowards by the ‘received’ version of history.

    • Sharp Ears

      ‘Ms Hartley Brewer, who has criticised “wild rumours and claims” circulating at Westminster, said she did not consider herself a victim after the incident over dinner at the Conservative Party conference.

      After the minister kept putting his hand on her knee, she said: “I calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would ‘punch him in the face’.

      “He withdrew his hand and that was the end of the matter.”‘


    • John Spencer-Davis

      ‘Over the weekend, a Cabinet Office investigation was ordered into whether Conservative MP and international trade minister Mark Garnier breached ministerial rules after he admitted asking his secretary to buy sex toys and calling her “sugar tits”.’ (BBC)

      You know, these are holders of the most high and dignified offices in the land. I do wonder if the investigators will be irritated with having to look into this sort of juvenile and offensive behaviour.

      Certainly there should be a code for MPs that should prohibit advances to employees, because they are in a position of power and influence. Power is unequally distributed in such a relationship. I do wonder, though, if every hand on every knee should be regarded as a sexual assault. If no man ever put his hand on a woman’s knee there would be no babies. J

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Maybe the ‘no hand on the knee’ is a precursor to there actually being ‘no babies’.
        Or perhaps babies will arise by other means.
        I am essentially a biologist and it is always the case that matters related to reproduction are already highly evolved( and that includes sexual behaviour) to a point which makes it difficult to permanently alter most aspects of it.
        IOW the variance within reproductive characteristics is minimal because reproduction is so crucial to survival.
        So sleazy men who take liberties are quite likely to be a fundamental feature of the current rich panoply of sexual behaviour.
        It may be possible to suppress it in the short term but one suspects that such behaviour will mutate in some way, in order to evade the overt social inhibitions.I am not entirely confident that any altered/mutated behaviour will be any more optimal than the current, rather flawed arrangements and may even be worse.
        I am not defending such behaviour -it is clearly undesirable and possibly improper that professional people behave in such a way but at the same time, I am not sure how one inhibits sexual impulses and associated risk taking. (Basically the brain is a sexual/survival organ.
        One final point. The focus of this issue has been primarily ‘offensive’ man on ‘innocent’ woman behaviour but this is largely a reflection of the gender power relations that normally prevail.
        In some circumstances (uncommon) these power relations can be reversed, and women prevail both numerically and in authority. I can guarantee that women in such positions of authority or dominance are as capable as men of abusive sexual behaviour.
        I expect some indignant gender biased responses.I am braced and ready.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          No indignation from me, anyway. It hasn’t escaped my notice that men who cheerfully take risks get (a) more rejections and, notwithstanding, (b) more shags. Or that, by and large, feminists aren’t worth much risk anyway. Though my sample population isn’t large enough to be statistically valid, unfortunately.

        • Shatnersrug

          Here’s an anecdote, I was working on an event one with a theatrically trained older lady as the show caller. She stood next to me we both head headphones and General comms equipment about half way through full dress rehearsal, which were incredible intense and couldn’t be stopped I was pretty much chained to the console, I saw he reach down under the desk with her lifer hand. I then felt said hand on my dick. She then massaged my privates parts for nearly 3 minutes during an important part of the show where I could not leave – I was running cues and had I walked away the show would have collapsed.

          I was 33 at the time. She was about 56 and very much an upper class type I was in no way attracted to her, she clearly thought that this was entirely acceptable – Well lovey it’s the theatre. Except it wasn’t it was a corporate event. After the end of the rehearsals she behaved as if nothing had happened.

          My colleagues thought it was the funniest thing ever – had she been attractive to me and my age they’d have called me a lucky bugger, as it was it’s was just funny supposedly that ‘granny had a grope’ it was more than a grope I can tell you.

          Did it effect me? Well I did dread doing the actual show with her, but by then she was a pissed as a fart, so it was easy to escape her fondles.

          This has happened to me on a number of occasions, dunno why, not now I’m older, but as a young men of was physically accosted by both men and women, in the entertainment industry it is part of the job, because there is a lot of power and alchohol around and people behave badly when drunk. I should imagine Parliament is the same, the subsidised bar is lethal in power structures.

          We have a very unhealthy attitude towards sex in this country. It’s still treated like a Jeykle and Hyde situation where, we all have to be hidden away before Mr or Ms Hyde is revealed. This othering of our sexual selves is what causes these indiscretions. Whilst biology continues on it’s aggressive predesinted nature we learn to control ourselves to behave contrary to it.

          Like theft a majority of people don’t do it but some do. If it’s socially acceptable or considered not particularly bad, more will do it.

  • Anon7

    So when given a sniff at power, Carles Puigdemont was all ready to play the national hero of the Catalan people. But when faced with serving jail time for the cause, he did a runner.

  • freddy

    Dishonest bankers should face jail for taking risks with taxpayers’ money, ex-prime minister Gordon Brown says.
    I completely agree with Gordon, the Rogue Bankers
    should be jailed.
    Well said that ex-leader.

    Gordon Brown has acted with discretion and dignity since he left high office
    unlike Tony Blair.

    • Xavi

      Yes, not once in seven years of Tory rule has Gordon challenged their lie that it was his government’s social spending that caused the giant deficit in UK public finances, not his taxpayer bailout of toxic banks. (A lie that enabled them to force Britain’s poor and disabled to atone for the sins of the richest).

      Millions of our most vulnerable people should be eternally grateful for Gordon’s noble, dignified silence in the face of the giant lie that enabled austerity.

      • freddy

        I am not saying Gordon is a saint,
        I a just pointing out, that since leaving high office, he has acted modestly.
        You could not say that about Tony Blair?

    • glenn_nl

      What’s wrong with the name “Michael Norton”, and why are you calling yourself “Freddy” these days? “Mike” or “Mikey” I could understand… but “Freddy”??

  • freddy

    Chechen accused of plotting to kill Putin wounded near Kiev, wife killed.
    A Chechen volunteer soldier who was accused of plotting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin was wounded and his wife killed Monday when their car was strafed by gunfire near the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

    The apparent assassination was the latest involving high-profile figures in Ukraine who bitterly opposed Russia.

    It also threatened to further damage relations between two neighbours which already treat each other as direct foes.

    • freddy

      There seems to have been a lot of assassinations in Ukraine,
      since Ukraine split from the U.S.S.R.
      but especially sine America inserted itself.

  • Republicofscotland

    UN independent expert urges Spanish Government to reverse decision on Catalan autonomy.

    Looks like the UN might actually get involved in the matter.

    “I deplore the decision of the Spanish Government to suspend Catalan autonomy. This action constitutes retrogression in human rights protection, incompatible with Articles 1, 19, 25 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).”

    Said Alfred de Zayas, UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.

    ” Pursuant to Articles 10(2) and 96 of the Spanish Constitution, international treaties constitute the law of the land and, therefore, Spanish law must be interpreted in conformity with international treaties. ”


  • reel guid

    Labourhame editor Duncan Hothersall getting indignant about West Dunbartonshire Council flying the Catalan flag, the Estelada, in solidarity.

    Hothersall tweets that Catalans are not oppressed (oh really?) and that they’re only trying to hold on to their wealth, so supporting them cannot be a moral crusade.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Hothersall, gets hot under the collar if Scots councils fly the Saltire, instead of the Butchers Apron.

      I bet Hothersall has his Union Jack underpants on seven days a week. ?

  • Republicofscotland

    Puigdemont, says he’s not in Brussels seeking asylum, he says he’s in Brussels looking for recognition for Catalonia, and to avoid ridiculous Spanish charges, that could see him rot in a Spanish jail for thirty years.

    This also applies to several of his ministers, hopefully Brussels will now step in and negotiate with both nations.

    The BBC are pushing the Puigdemont story that he’s fleeing and abandoning his supporters in Catalonia.

  • reel guid

    The Guardia Civil have raided the HQ of the Mossos Esquadra. The Spanish government has never once tried to negotiate with Catalan officials or observe any due process. It’s been threats, raids, arrests and beatings since October 1st. This is state fascism active in Western Europe and if we accept it then its influence will likely spread.

  • Dave

    There is a saying “Generals fight the last war”! And the reason they do is, why change the tactics that won you the war and because the economic interests are bound up with the tactics used. The Polish cavalry was an economic interest as well as a military tactic and suffered as a consequence against German motorised transport and tanks, which were deployed because the German economic interest to the tactics used in the last war were broken by the Treaty of Versailles, prompting new tactics and economic interests.

    Trident, which is the submarine, not the nuclear bomb, was deemed an effective way to launch the bomb because the submarine could be hidden and undetected at sea, but with modern satellites that now seems unlikely, even if retaining US controlled, non-independent, doomsday weapons was still considered worth having.

    But the latest news illustrates how everything, even super weapons have an Achilles heel, and the great nuclear deterrent’s being politically correct gender equality in the military.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Trident, which is the submarine, not the nuclear bomb,”


      “The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). Originally developed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation, the missile is armed with thermonuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen US Navy Ohio-class submarines, with US warheads, and four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines.”


      • Dave

        It seems there is both a Trident submarine and Trident missile. My specific point was about the submarine, but the war head is supplied by US and isn’t independent, on the presumption its illegal for US to supply another country with such a weapon which potentially could be used on them.

          • Dave

            Following Suez, after US pulled the plug on the UK/France and Israel attack on Egypt, France decided to adopt an independent foreign policy and build independent nuclear weapons. Whereas UK decided to embrace US and our nuclear weapons are US weapons with a Union Flag on top for show. Web search, UK nuclear deterrent, is it independent.

          • Republicofscotland

            Dave, apologies if it feels like I’m questioning your comments, it’s however a very difficult subject to pin down properly as this paragraph shows.

            Although the UK designed, manufactured and owns the warheads, there is evidence that the warhead design is similar to, or even based on, the US W76 warhead fitted in some US Navy Trident missiles, with design data being supplied by the United States through the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.”

            “The United Kingdom owns 58 missiles which are shared in a joint pool with the United States government and these are exchanged when requiring maintenance with missiles from the United States.”


            Also Dave, this might shine some light on the matter. 1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

            “The treaty paved the way for the Polaris Sales Agreement, and the Royal Navy ultimately acquired entire weapons systems, with the UK Polaris programme and Trident nuclear programme using American missiles with British nuclear warheads.”

            “The treaty has been amended and renewed nine times. The most recent renewal extended it to 31 December 2024.”


  • Republicofscotland

    Regarding Spain triggering a (EAW).

    Puigdemont would need to prove that the charges against him were politically motivated. As a EU citizen I’d imagine he’d have the right to challenge those charges in a Belgian court, and not a Spanish one.

    Puigdemont already has a Belgian lawyer Paul Berkaert, who specialises in asylum cases. Though even he couldn’t achieve asylum for two ETA members in Belgium in 2010.

    Belgian PM Charles Michel, has said that Puigdemonts asylum, is definitely not on the governments agenda.

    Though according to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, between 2013 and 2015, Belgium and the Netherlands were the only member states to grant asylum or subsidiary protection to EU nationals on first request.

  • Republicofscotland

    According to this report, when asked the Vice President of the Spanish Senate said..

    Q. If in the elections the independentistas are elected again, would it be activated again (the 155th)?”

    A. “If the law is not complied with, the new government will be required to comply and we will do the same and that is what must be applied.”


    Is the interpretation of that answer, one it doesn’t matter if Si wins again, we’ll not recognise it?

  • freddy

    Madrid has requested that Carles turns up on at Madrid, on Thursday, to answer questions, to determine if he has stolen public money, acted seditiously, acted rebelliously

    Carles has claimed,
    he ain’t going.

    The locals of Catalonia think the shine has gone off Carles.

    One thing is for certain, if he does not turn up tomorrow, he will not be allowed to stand in the forthcoming Catalan elections.

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